no HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. were brought into contact with the Syrian branch of the order, and Raymond, Count of Tripoli, in A.D.I 149, and Conrad of Montferrat, titular King of Jerusalem in A.D. 1192, were among its more famous European victims* In A.D. 1272 the life of Prince Edward, afterwards Edward L of England, was attempted at Acre, but accord- ing to tradition saved by his consort, who sucked the wound. The Initiation of the Devotees.—A graphic account of the initiation of the/dfotf is given by Marco Polo, who, writing shortly after the capture of Alamut by Hulagu in A.D, 1252, says;l " The Old Man had caused a certain valley between two mountains to be enclosed, and had turned it into a garden, the largest and most beautiful that ever was seen, filled with every variety of fruit And there were runnels flowing with wine and milk and honey and water ; and numbers of ladies and of the most beautiful damsels in the world. For the Old Man desired to make his people believe that this was actually Paradise. " Now no man was allowed to enter the Garden save those whom he intended to be his ASIUSUIN. , . . Then he would introduce them into his garden, some four or six or ten at a time, having first made them drink a certain«potion which cast them into a deep sleep, and then causing them to be lifted and carried in. When therefore they awoke and found themselves in a place so charming, they deemed that it was Paradise in very truth. ... So when the Old Man would have any prince slain, he would say to a youth : c Go thou and slay so and so ; and when thou returnest my Angels shall bear thee into Paradise.'" The potion was composed of cannabis indica, or hemp, known as hashish, and this is undoubtedly the origin of the word " Assassin/' The fidais rarely survived their victims, as they gloried in martyrdom and attempted' to execute their mission in the most open and dramatic manner. Indeed, so certain of happiness after death were the followers of this sect that mothers wept if their sons 1 Yvle's Marco Polo, i. p. 139 (Cordier's edition).